Tags: Supreme Court | gop | break up | liberal | 9th circuit court of appeals

GOP Hopes to Finally Break Up 'Liberal' 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

Image: GOP Hopes to Finally Break Up 'Liberal' 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

Protestsoutside of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals building June 28, 2002 in San Francisco, California in a case involving the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 22 Jan 2017 09:59 AM

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., aims to break up the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which has been "oversized and overworked" and tended to be one of the most liberal courts in the U.S., The Hill reported Sunday. 

"With regard to the court, it's just access to justice," Flake told The Hill. "Its docket is more than twice as big as the next biggest circuit. This has been a long time coming, and hopefully we can make some progress finally."

Flake is preparing a legislative bill to ease the burden of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers California, Arizona, Alaska, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington, Hawaii, as well as Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Flake's work helped create an additional U.S. circuit court last year, which included Arizona, Nevada, Montana, Idaho and Alaska.

"I think there's been a long recognition that the 9th Circuit is behemoth and is one of the most problematic circuits in the country," Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas told The Hill.

"Frankly, when Sen. Harry Reid [D-Nev.] and Democrats packed the D.C. Circuit, they didn't really need the help because they didn't have much to do, so redistributing the judges places where they actually have the caseload to justify, that is something I’d be willing to look at."

In addition to be overloaded, handling 20 percent of the U.S. appellate cases, GOP lawmakers have considered the California-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeal to be too radical, according to The Hill. It once ruled the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance was unconstitutional, but the U.S. Supreme Court overturned that.

"Some of the senators from the west have been concerned about the ideological composition of the court and the opinions it issues," Richmond School of Law professor Carl Tobias said. "It's long been considered the most liberal court, but I think that's less true today."

President Donald Trump has four vacancies to fill on the Ninth Circuit, which has had 18 of its 25 active judges appointed by Democratic presidents, but legislation breaking up the court, which has failed by Democratic opposition for decades, stands a better chance with the GOP-held Congress.

"The problem has always been that it has a very large and somewhat unwieldy geographic area and caseload, so the question is whether there's an effective way to deal with those appeals," Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., told The Hill. "I'd have to see those details."

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Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., aims to break up the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has been oversized and overworked and tended to be one of the most liberal courts in the U.S., The Hill reported Sunday.
gop, break up, liberal, 9th circuit court of appeals
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2017-59-22
Sunday, 22 Jan 2017 09:59 AM
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